J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

2011 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

VINTAGE
2011 paralleled 2010 as the two coolest vintages Paso Robles has posted in a decade. With winter rainfall 50% above normal, we welcomed rapid spring shoot growth prior to flowering in mid- May. Syrah benefits in cooler years in Paso Robles, developing better color and exhibiting more white pepper characteristics. We experimented with a little more oak this vintage, 50% new French oak puncheons from the Demptos and Francois Frères cooperages, and let the wine stay on its yeast lees for a full year before racking and bottling.


VINEYARDS
The grapes for our J. Lohr Gesture Syrah are grown at Terra Bella Vineyard, located within the Adelaida subdistrict of the Paso Robles AVA at an elevation of nearly 1,800 feet. The super steep south-facing Block 6 has lime-shale soils and is planted to Syrah clone 877. Thinned to just one cluster per shoot, this block is prone to rapid sugar accumulation and intense flavor concentration.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation:

Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County, CA
Composition: 99% Syrah, 1% Mourvèdre
Harvest Dates:  October 3, 2011
Harvest Process:  Hand-harvested to half-ton bins, destemmed, and berry sorted on Vaucher Beguet Mistral system
Harvest Chemistries: 28.1° Brix, total acidity 0.59 g/100ml, pH 3.61
Vinification:  
  Yeast: ICV D80 yeast
  Fermentation: Destemmed and fermented whole berry in open-top tank with light punchdowns
  Temperature: Cold-soaked 3 days at 55°F, fermented to 90°F peak temperature
  Maceration: 9 days on skins
  Malolactic: 100% with Viniflora Oenos in barrel
  Maturation: 15 months in 500 liter puncheons
  Barrel Type: French oak puncheons, 50% new
  Bottle Aging: Released 4 months after bottling
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.49
  Total Acidity: 0.62 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 15.45% by volume
  Res. Sugar: 0.00 g/100ml
  Cellaring: Richest fruit within 5 years; maturing tannins to 8 years bottle age
  Cases produced: 435

WINEWMAKER'S COMMENTS
“The 2011 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah shows intense color and leads with savory black fruit aromas. The persuasive oak signature reveals hazelnut, truffle and cardamom. Rich and complex fruit flavors are dense on the palate, with bright acid and nice depth.”
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
A traditional entrecote (ribeye) steak or crispy duck on sautéed winter greens.

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Price: $30.00 750ml

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2010 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

VINTAGE
2010 was the coolest vintage Paso Robles has seen in a decade, with winter rainfall totaling 50% above normal. This growing season started with exceptional soil moisture, and a full leaf canopy was developed by bloom in mid-May. Syrah benefits in cooler years in Paso Robles, developing better color and exhibiting more White pepper characteristic. The density of this Syrah in 2010 was so great that we included of a bit of Grenache to relax the palate.


VINEYARDS
The grapes for our J. Lohr Gesture Syrah are grown at Terra Bella Vineyard, located within the Adelaida subdistrict of the Paso Robles AVA at an elevation of nearly 1,800 feet. The super steep south-facing Block 6 is planted to Syrah clone 877, farmed to just one cluster per shoot, and prone to rapid sugar accumulation and intense flavor concentration.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation:

Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 83% Syrah, 16% Grenache, 1% Mourvèdre
Harvest Dates:  October 8th and 14th, 2010
Harvest Process:  Hand-harvested to half-ton bins, destemmed, and berry-sorted on Vaucher Beguet Mistral system
Harvest Chemistries: 26.2° Brix, 3.49 pH, 0.59 g/100ml total acidity
Vinification:  
  Yeast: ICV D80 yeast
  Fermentation: Fermented in open-top tank with light punch downs
  Temperature: Cold-soaked 3 days at 55°F, fermented to 90°F peak temperature
  Maceration: 8 days on skins
  Malolactic: 100% with Viniflora Oenos
  Maturation: 16 months in puncheons
  Barrel Type: 500L French oak puncheons, 36% new
  Bottle Aging: Bottled March 23, 2012
Bottling Chemistries:
  pH: 3.47
  Total Acidity: 0.65 g/100ml
  Alcohol: 15.4 % by volume
  Res. Sugar: Dry
  Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for 5 to 8 years.
  Cases produced: 440

WINEWMAKER'S COMMENTS
“The 2010 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah shows great density of color and leads with spicy black fruit aromas. The delicate oak signature reveals white chocolate and a touch of hazelnut. Ripe fruit flavors are dense on the palate, with bright acid and lingering minerality.”
-Steve Peck, Red Winemaker

FOOD PAIRINGS
Mussels with saffron crème or classic duck confit.

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2009 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

The 2009 growing season in Paso Robles was warmer and drier than average, followed by a heavy rainfall event in mid-October that attenuated ripening of late-maturing varietals. This vintage followed the third consecutive year of below-normal winter rainfall in the Paso Robles AVA, with just under 7 inches recorded at our home ranch weather station. Following a brief heat wave at the end of August, this early-ripening Syrah block saw Brix levels rise due to dehydration of the fruit. We patiently waited out the heat and were rewarded with three weeks of additional hangtime before picking at the onset of a second heat spike in late September.


VINEYARDS
This Syrah is from Terra Bella Vineyard, located within the Adelaida subdistrict of the Paso Robles AVA, at an elevation of 1,800 feet. This super steep south-facing Block 6 is planted to Syrah clone 877, farmed to just one cluster per shoot and is prone to rapid sugar accumulation and intense flavor concentration.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation:

Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 94% Syrah, 6% Grenache
Harvest Dates:  September 17, 2009
Harvest Process:  Hand-harvested to half ton bins prior to destemming and berry sorting on Vaucher Beguet Mistral system
Harvest chemistries: 28.4° Brix, 0.64 g/100ml TA, 3.47 pH
Vinification:  
Yeast: Lallemand RC212 yeast
Fermentation:  Fermented in 10 ton open top tank
Temperature: Cold soak 5 days at 55°F, then fermented to 90°F peak temperature
Maceration: 9 days on skins
Malolactic:  100% malolactic, Viniflora Oenos
Maturation: 16 months in barrel
Barrel type: French oak, 36% new
Bottle aging: Bottled in March 2011
Bottling chemistries:
pH: 3.42
Total Acidity: 0.68 g/100ml
Alcohol: 15.16 % by volume
Res. Sugar: Dry
Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for 6 to 8 years.
Cases produced: 225

Winemaker's Comments
“The 2009 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah shows incredible density of color and leads with an overwhelming bright, jammy fruit aroma. The delicate oak signature reveals white chocolate and a touch of sage. Flavors are dense on the palate, with soft tannins and a lingering minerality.”
—Steve Peck, red winemaker


Food Pairings
Mussels with saffron crème or classic duck confit.

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Price: $30.00 750ml

2008 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

Following a relatively dry winter, the 2008 growing season began with an early bud break in mid March. A troublesome arctic cold front in April brought frost damage to not only winegrapes, but blueberry fields and cherry orchards from British Columbia to Southern California. Typical summer heat accumulation came sporadically and brix levels rose while the fruit retained its natural acidity. The quality of the 2008 vintage is apparent in the wine’s density and strong regional expression of fresh fruit character.

 


VINEYARDS
The majority of the fruit for this wine is from Terra Bella Vineyard. Located at 1,800 foot elevation within the Adelaida district of the Paso Robles AVA, the steep south-facing Block 6 is planted to Syrah clone 877 and is prone to rapid sugar accumulation and intense flavor concentration.


TECHNICAL DATA

Appellation:

Paso Robles AVA, San Luis Obispo County
Composition: 100% Syrah
Harvest Dates:  September 12, 2008
Harvest Process:  Hand-harvested, held grapes
3 days prior to destemming and berry sorting on Vaucher Beguet Mistral system
Harvest chemistries: 28.1° Brix, pH 3.1, total acidity .96 g/100ml
Vinification:  
Yeast: VR5
Fermentation:  Open-top tank with 1 to 3
punchdowns per day
Temperature:  90° F maximum
Maceration:  7 days on skins
Malolactic:  100% malolactic in neutral barrels
Maturation: 13 months in new 500 liter puncheons, 4 months in neutral oak
Barrel type: 500 liter French oak puncheons
Forests: Center of France
Coopers: François Frères and Demptos,
medium+ and heavy toast
Bottle aging: 4 months prior to release
Bottling chemistries:
pH: 3.49
Total Acidity: 0.60 g/100ml
Alcohol: 14.95 % by volume
Res. Sugar: Dry
Cellaring: Delicious now, but can be cellared for 6 to 8 years.
Cases produced: 514

Winemaker's Comments
“This truly rare offering of 2008 Gesture Syrah from J. Lohr
showcases plummy aromas of violet, and tilled earth. Nurtured in French oak puncheons, a subtle bouquet of dark chocolate and roasted hazelnut compliments the fresh fruit signature. Alive with the natural acidity inherent to this high altitude vineyard, this wine is quite food friendly and will pair well with your favorite roasted duck recipe. Certain to age gracefully for 6 to 8 years.”
—Steve Peck, red winemaker

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2007 J. Lohr Gesture Syrah

The 2007 vintage was largely defined by a shortage of winter rainfall which was just 40% of normal. This resulted in intense fruit with 10-20% lower yields than 2005 and 2006 in general. Seasonal summer heat spikes occurred earlier than normal, before the fruit had softened at veraison. The daily maximum temperature exceeded 100 degrees only three times between veraison and harvest at this vineyard, which preserved the fruit aromatics and soft tannins.


VINEYARDS
Terra Bella Vineyard is located at 1,800 foot elevation within the Adelaida district of the Paso Robles AVA. Blocks 2 and 6 planted to Syrah clone 877 were the top performers for us and were used to create this wonderful wine. Terra Bella Vineyard has attracted a lot of attention from luxury winemakers since its development in 2001.


TECHNICAL DATA

 

Origin: Terra Bella Vineyard
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Brix at Harvest: 27.8° Brix average
Total Acidity: 0.69 g/100 ml
pH at Bottling: 3.49
Alcohol: 15.39% by volume
Residual Sugar: 0.21 g/100ml
Vinification: After destemming, the berries were sorted on our VB Mistral system. Cold soaked fruit was fermented in half ton bins with a gentle punch-down regime. Malolactic fermentation in barrel.
Maturation: 15 months barrel aging in French oak (25% new).
Bottling Date: March 17th, 2009; 233 cases produced.

Winemaker's Comments

A truly top-tier Syrah is defined not just by dark fruit aroma and seductive oaky flavor, but also by an invitingly plush mouth feel. My earliest tasting notes taken during the debut vintage of 2007
J. Lohr Gesture Syrah identified this wine for its dense flavors and soft, voluminous palate. We nurtured the blend through aging with sequential movements from newer to older cooperage over time to limit and integrate oak components and to preserve freshness of fruit. My bet is that this wine will showcase its fruit best with 2 to 5 years of bottle age and will make an excellent accompaniment to braised veal shanks.

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